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Q&A: Could My Pregnancy Test Be Wrong?

April C. Sanchez, M.D.


Q: I took a home pregnancy test 28 days after the date of possible conception. The results came out negative. What are the chances the results could be incorrect? I ask because I haven't gotten my period yet. Thanks.

A: Home pregnancy tests are over 90% accurate in diagnosing a pregnancy. The test measures the level of HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), which is the "pregnancy hormone." Usually the HCG is at a level detectable in urine at about the time of an expected period, or about 14 days after conception. There are several reasons why you may not have gotten your period and still have a negative pregnancy test.

There is a slight chance that the EPT may have been a false negative. Repeating the test can help to rule this out. If you have symptoms of pregnancy such as morning sickness, you should see your doctor for confirmation of your home test results.

If it is confirmed that you are not pregnant, it could be that you are experiencing a variation in your menstrual cycle. Very few women have consistent 28-day cycles throughout their lives. If you ovulate a little later than usual, your period will come later. This could happen as a result of stress, or if you have recently stopped using a birth-control pill, or for no apparent reason.

If you still do not have a period after a period of 2-3 months, you should consult your doctor. Not having a period could be a signal of a medical problem such as an under active thyroid or a disorder with your pituitary gland. These disorders should be diagnosed and corrected as soon as possible, especially if you are trying to conceive.

April C. Sanchez, M.D.

Dr Sanchez lives with her husband and two boys ages 5 and 18 months in Mandeville, Louisinana. She is a Board Certified OBGYN with a degree from Louisiana State University Medical School. She completed her residency through the Tulane University Medical School Residency Program. She also received a Surgical Excellence Award.She is now practicing Obstetrics and Gynecology at Total Woman Care, in Manderville, Louisiana. The Total Woman Care website, ( is an "Advanced" Obstetrics and Gynecology Practice that cares and provides for the needs of women with total Compassion, Empathy, and Understanding. Dedicated to Provide Obstetrics and Gynecology Related Information for the Women of West St Tammany Parish.

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Showing 1 - 10 out of 17 Comments
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chizzy Mar 8, 2017 01:33:07 PM ET

I had my period 7th of last February and 19 thru 23 of February I had little discharge which is brownish and now my period is gone 2days ago and since 4days have been feeling sick, backache, stomach pain, vomting, high temperature. I don't have an appetite for food. Could I b pregnant?

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sasa Jul 24, 2013 11:20:58 AM ET

I stopped getting my periods in january, I used home pt on march, the results came out positive, I get tested for the second time at the clinic, and the results came positive again, but stil I haven't see any changes in my Body, 24week not even a belly? Flat stomach, i

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que Jul 7, 2013 05:55:41 PM ET

I had sex june 15,16 of 2013 well on june 27 2013 when i went to the bathroom i noticed mucus an light pink discharge could i be expecting

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hayley Nov 14, 2012 12:17:00 PM ET

Hi ladies, I am also so confused! Hubby and I have been trying to fall preg but have forgotten about it for a while. Have had 2 miscarriages a year ago. Have a 28 day cycle but started brown/black bleeding a week before menstrual cycle was due. On the 28th day no bleeding what so ever. Now 2 weeks later, breasts so sore-cant even touch them! Headaches, bloated, back pain, heart burn, urinate more often and tired and moody- BUT 2 neg home pregnancy tests! My reflexologist says a cyst on the ovary has the same symptoms as early preg- and the pharmasist says I need to test again and if still neg go to the dr! So I don't know! Will test again tomw morning - let's wait and see. My friend only found out she was preg at 2months after lots of neg home tests and a neg blood test! Crazy hey! Good luck !

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Lesha Aug 14, 2012 08:51:18 PM ET

I think im pregnant but all my tests come back negative and I have some pregnancy symptoms could I be pregnant???

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melisa Feb 5, 2012 01:03:04 PM ET

I have taken 3 pregnancy test the first came out positive and then iv taken two more which came out negative..i wont be sure until i get blood work cause i would like to be certain,,but do you think that there can be a chance that the pregnancy test was giving me false results when indicating i was pregnant? im so confussed!!

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Angrla Nov 14, 2011 03:20:44 PM ET

I have takin 3 home test two was positive and last one was negative. Ima very confused how it could have some pos and some neg.

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ashley Aug 19, 2011 11:42:22 PM ET

When i stand up i become really dizzy, i get nausea in the mornings but doesn't throw up i get bad heartburn and my stomach is sore.... could a be pregnant???

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Veronica Jul 22, 2011 07:50:21 PM ET

I am 27 days late on my period. I wake up every morning with bad heartburn. I've always had a regular cycle. I have done many pregnacy tests & they all have come out negative. Could I be pregnant???

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Lilly Moon May 7, 2011 01:18:53 PM ET

I should have got my period 2 weeks ago, I did a gregnaancy test twice and all showed Im not pregnant, Im a mother of 2 children and I have used the pregnanacy test with both children and they were positive. I don't konw what is going on, I use the contraception pill and I do remember that i Took them all. can anybody help me pls.

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